By Ashley Simpson, Marketing Coordinator
After reading an article yesterday on electricity prices across the country, I found out that Calgary has one of the highest in Canada. This got me thinking, what are some things we can do to use less energy and make our home more efficient? And with winter around the corner, what better timing. Here are some useful tips, whether you have a new home or an older home, that can help you improve your energy efficiency and your savings.
- Light bulbs: A simple and inexpensive fix is switching over your light bulbs from incandescent to LED or CFL bulbs. LED (light emitting diode) and CFL (compact fluorescent lights) both last longer than incandescent light bulbs. Although they are a bit more expensive, the savings comes from replacing them far less frequently.
- Correcting cold drafts: Cold drafts at doors and windows can easily be corrected with caulking or weather stripping from the hardware store. This helps keep the cold air out and the warm air inside. Feel the air around your doors and windows; if it feels like cool air is coming in, you may be spending extra money heating your home and it’s just flying out the window!
- Using appliances to the best of their abilities: Fill dishwashers and washing machines full. Many machines also have an “energy efficient” setting, such as cold water for the washing machine and air-dry for the dishwasher.
- Turn it off: Whether it’s the TV, computer, or just a light, turn it off when it’s not in use!
- Energy Star appliances: Energy Star appliances meet government standards to ensure their high efficiency. Although replacing aging appliances can be expensive, in the long run you will increase your efficiency and cut down on costs. All of our Cedarglen homes come equipped with Energy Star appliances.
- Clean filters: Check your furnace filter once a month to ensure it is in good condition and replace it when necessary. This will make sure air is flowing through your home at the optimal level and can reduce heating costs.
- Water Heater: Make sure your water heater is not turned up too high.
- Windows: Windows with more than one pane of glass are more energy efficient. At Cedarglen, all of our homes come with triple-pane, argon filled windows as a standard. These windows keep the cold air outside in the winter and the warm air outside in the summer.
- Programmable thermostat: Installing a programmable thermostat is a great idea. You can set it to warm the house when you are there, and reduce the temperature when you are sleeping or at work. This way, you aren’t running the heat when no one is there to enjoy it.
- Insulation: Cedarglen uses R40 insulation in the attic to reduce heat loss in our homes. R20 insulation is used for the exterior walls and R12 for undeveloped basements. Having the right insulation in the right places ensures heat is staying inside your house.
Questions? Let me know in the comments below! To read more on the standard specifications for Cedarglen Homes listed above, visit: http://www.cedarglenhomes.com/BuildYourHome/specsAndStandards.aspx